10th Senate: Elections and the Calmness of Orji Uzor Kalu
By Dr Bashir Lamido
” Ambition should be made of stener stuff” when William Shakespeare made this assertion he was referring to the likes of former governor of Abia state and Chief Whip of the 9th Senate Orji Uzor Kalu.
13th of June 2023 was a typical day in the annals of Nigerian Parliament, a day that was to produce a Pandorax box from the Senate, the Dooms day, expectation of a turbulent voyage that turned a smooth Sail after all.
Nigerians expected a tug of War and clash of heavy weights, yours sincerely did too, being aware of the Three major Candidates vying for the Position of the number Three position in the hierarchy of Nigeria’s Presidential Ascension.
One a returnee Senator, Senator with overall best Constituency projects in the 9th Senate, biggest employer of Labour among the three, a Political titan that ward off the ” Obi tsunami” in South East, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Until the eve of that election date many industry watchers heard waited with berthed breath to see the one time Governor of Abia State to pull the strings on the floor that faithful day hence the process will be Secrete ballot and no doubt the Chief Whip has got enormous goodwill and confidence from his returning colleagues and the new ones.
Inside the Senate Chamber, seated at the right hand side of the Make shift chamber was his Excellency, the best Chief whip in Senate history as Ahmad Lawan would always put it, a Man Orji Kalu gave overwhelming support during his tenure as President of the 9th Senate, infact some analysts have aduced that Orji’s undiluted support for Ahmad Lawan during the APC Primaries is the reason he lost the favour of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the Position of the President of the 10th Senate, debatable though, but Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has remained an unrepentant supporter of Senator Ahmad Lawan and from his body language he never regretted it.
Now back to the crux of this piece, the election in the Senate that 13th June 2023 and the Calmness of the number 5 man in the 9th Senate, it was not open ballot like its Sister Chamber, the house of Representatives, therefore, a tactical
network could have caused a distortion which was what Orji’s supporters wanted, after all, as they say Conspiracy gives way to security, these are tools the former Chief Whip had on his palms to perforate the choice of his Party to either clinch the coveted position or give it away, even during the voting for the Position of President of the Senate many now thought Orji would have resolved to now go for deputy President’s position, but instead, Oriji choosed to give way for Party loyalty over personal ambition, albeit an ambition that some of his colleagues perceived as going to evolve into a National interest, having known him, Orji as a detribalized Nigerian.
That election was peaceful and rancour free and assuaged the yearnings of the rulling All Progressives Congress because Orji eventually submitted to Party interest, a difficult decision he took days before the election, inspite of the deluge of calls from colleagues and supporters not to yield to the micro zoning of his Party.
Students of Orji know his unbending disposition towards his convictions, but one finest feature that seperates him and the 21st Century Nigerian Politicians is his penchant for Party Loyalty, Party Supremacy is boldly engraved in his Political Chess board.
The Calmness of Orji is reflective of the Calmness of the Tiger that does not make it a weak animal.
The Political and emotional maturity of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu especially all through the contest for Senate President of the 10th Senate is a topic for a social research, a calmness that even his colleagues and supporters are yet to fanthom.